The 67-year-old Florida Republican senator becomes the second US senator to test positive this week. But he still ignores new CDC warning.
Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced Friday.
“After several negative tests, I learned I was positive this morning,” Scott said in a statement.
As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the nation, the 67-year-old Florida Republican becomes the second US senator to test positive for the novel coronavirus this week, and the seventh since March. This week, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, the president pro tempore of the Senate, also tested positive for the illness that so far has claimed 252,000 lives in the US alone.
Scott announced that he was feeling good and experiencing mild symptoms.
No Safety Measures
On Nov. 13, Scott attended an indoor campaign rally for Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican senator in a runoff election that determines which party will control the US Senate.
That event did not include universal mask-wearing or social distancing measures, and Scott did not wear a mask when speaking to the crowd.
The senator’s office said Scott’s contact with an individual who tested positive took place on Friday evening, after the event with Loeffler and after he traveled home to Florida.
In his public statement, Scott urged Floridians to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
“Quarantine if you come in contact with someone positive like I did,” he added. “As we approach Thanksgiving, we know this holiday will be different this year. But listen to public health officials and follow their guidance. We will beat this together, but we all have to be responsible.”
Ignored CDC Warning
But despite the grim fact that, according to data from the Florida Department of Health (DHO), in Florida over 914,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 through Thursday, and 17,810 have lost their lives since March 1, Scott did not encourage people to stay home for the holidays, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly urged the nation to do on Nov. 18.
In addition to Scott and Grassley, at least four members of the House of Representatives have tested positive for COVID this week, posing a potential public health risk as lawmakers travel across the country to work in Washington. For this reason, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives allows lawmakers to cast a proxy vote during the pandemic. The Republican-controlled US Senate, however, does not.